8 April 2019, by: Quintin van Jaarsveld
SUPER RUGBY ROUND 8 – BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS
The biggest takeaways from the eighth round of Super Rugby from a South African perspective, according to Quintin van Jaarsveld.
A missed opportunity due to missed opportunities. That sums up the Stormers’ outing at Suncorp Stadium. What could’ve been a morale-boosting win was, instead, a third tour loss (24-12) on the trot due to the Cape side’s inability to finish off try-scoring opportunities.
Three disallowed tries, two in the first 20 minutes of the match, cut the Stormers’ offensive intent off at the knees. They dominated the opening quarter, yet had nothing to show for it.
Captain Siya Kolisi’s somewhat harsh yellow card just before half-time resulted in two quick-fire converted tries after the break, which coupled with the visitors’ poor finishing, handed the hosts a comfortable 24-12 win in the end.
— safrica24 (@safrica24) April 7, 2019
A scoreless first half, the first since 2013 when the Stormers faced the Sharks, saw the Capetonians once again commit a cluster of basic mistakes, including a number of behind-the-chest passes that stifled their momentum and/or led to knock-ons.
Forwards camping out in the backline was a big issue, and the new-look front row misfired and was blown up on three occasions, twice after they’d been scrummed into submission.
The hard-working Kobus van Dyk finally gave the Stormers their first try in the 50th minute, and when an equally determined Damian de Allende dotted down to make it 21-12 with the conversion and five minutes to come, there was a chance for the Stormers to possibly salvage a draw. Instead, it led to one last blown opportunity as SP Marais missed a sitter and the Reds rubbed it in by running in another try.
It took eight rounds, but the Sharks finally played to their full potential and boy. The Durban franchise fired on all cylinders, scoring four tries in the first 40 alone to lead 25-0 at half-time and ultimately thumped the Lions 42-5.
It was clear from the onset that the Sharks, winless against South African sides and coming off a home loss against the Bulls, wanted it more than the Lions. Their hunger (and perhaps a hint of desperation) was apparent, their physical pressure relentless and their pace ferocious.
SHARKS MAKE A SPLASH!: With the water level rising under torrential rains on Friday night, the Sharks dive-bombed the Lions out of Ellis Park! #StatAttack https://t.co/l577vJ3lm8 pic.twitter.com/Gas8NNUNpb
— AllOutRugby (@AllOutRugby) April 8, 2019